With the recent death of John Prine at the hands of COVID-19, the question has been posed by many about the legendary songwriter’s prospects of ever being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s an interesting discussion point for sure, and one with a few important qualifiers.
Townes Van Zandt
It’s the often-used cliche to say someone died while doing what they love. For some, it’s a dream they wish upon. For David Olney, it was a reality. “Olney was in the middle of his third song when he stopped, apologized, and shut his eyes. He was very still, sitting upright with his guitar on…”
It’s time. In fact, it’s well past time. And the people calling the shots shouldn’t make the same mistake they did with Chris Stapleton’s rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey.” We’re talking of course about Morgan Wallen’s cover of Jason Isbell’s song “Cover Me Up.” It’s time to release it as a proper radio single.
When the Ken Burns documentary was first announced a few years ago, the hope was the film could act like a big reset button on the status of country music, and give a boost to many of the songs and artists abandoned by radio in the present day. It has been a big boon in sales and streams for many of the classic country artists featured.
The 7th Episode in the series was unique in that 30 more minutes were added to give Ken Burns and his team the time to delve into a decade of the music, explain the important influence of Texas songwriters and the emergence of the Outlaw movement in the early and mid 70’s, all while keeping up with the goings on in popular country in Nashville.
Armadillo World Headquarters, Billy Joe Shaver, Billy Sherrill, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Freddy Fender, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Guy Clark, Hank Williams Jr., Hazel Smith, Hillbilly Central, Johnny Rodriguez, Ken Burns, Merle Haggard, Tammy Wynette, Tompall Glaser, Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
What started out to be a small and intimate alternative to Austin’s sprawling SXSW gathering every March, and that was only known initially through invite or word of mouth, has now become arguably the most important and exclusive gatherings in all of American roots music every year.
Amy Winehouse, Angie McMahon, Bonnie Bishop, Chris Masterson, Chris Shiflett, Courtney Marie Andrews, Elanore Whitmore, Haley Heynderickx, Hayes Carll, Logan Ledger, Luck Reunion, Lukas Nelson, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Mavis Staples, Miss Tess, Mountain Main, Nikki Lane, Paul Cauthen, Randy Houser, Ray Charles, Steve Earle, Sunny War, The Mastersons, Townes Van Zandt, Tyler Childers, Willie Nelson, Yola
This story has been updated. Here in the age of information, when the access to music is infinite, and every bit of recorded material from artists past and present is right at your very fingertips at any given moment, releases of old archived scratch material from an artist who’s been dead over twenty years rarely […]
The Steel Woods have arrived ladies and gentlemen, and with them a whole new legacy of Southern rock to enjoy in the present tense, and look forward to for the foreseeable future. With ‘Old News’ they lay it all to bear, leave nothing to chance, throw out their best shots, and scream for rightful consideration.
A new posthumous collection of Townes Van Zandt recordings is on its way from Fat Possum and TVZ Records. Made in early 1973, the songs come from a recording session with journalist, musician, and close Townes Van Zandt friend, the late Bill Hedgepeth. They were recorded in Hedgepeth’s home studio in Atlanta.
“No way I could get out of doing this record,” Steve Earle says. “When I get to the other side, I didn’t want to run into Guy having made the ‘TOWNES’ record and not one about him … Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark were like Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg to me.”
The Country Music Hall of Fame has partnered with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings to release a 36-song companion double album to coincide with what the public can expect to see and hear as part of the upcoming Outlaws & Armadillos exhibit. The track list of the album reveals just how deep the exhibit will go.
Amanda Shires, Ashley Monroe, Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, Chris Gantry, Colter Wall, Commander Cody, Country Music Hall of Fame, Dave Cobb, Doug Sahm, Gary P. Nunn, Jack Ingram, Jamey Johnson, Jason Boland, Jason Isbell, Jessi Colter, Joe Ely, John Hartford, Kimmie Rhodes, Kinky Friedman, Michael Martin Murphey, Mickey Newbury, Outlaws & Armadillos, Shooter Jennings, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Terry Allen, Townes Van Zandt, Willis Alan Ramsey
Richard Dobson never found the fame many of his more recognized songwriting contemporaries did, but he was cherished as an equal by them, and the fans who sought out his music, and followed his journey, inspired and intrigued by his free spirit, his capability with words, and his ability not just to tell great stories, but to live them.
Canadian country artist Colter Wall is once again receiving some worthy exposure via a critically-acclaimed film the promises to be an Oscar contender. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is a dark comedy. Colter Wall’s “Sleeping on the Blacktop” plays prominently at the beginning of the film’s racy and explosive trailer.
To us, it’s a sad state of affairs that Guy, Susanna, Townes, and so many more that made up the core of the alternative to country in the 70’s and 80’s are gone, but to Rodney Crowell, these weren’t just distant stars on some stage that perhaps he got to see once or twice in his life, these were his close personal friends.
Lindi Ortega is no stranger to the dark regions of the mind, or the mortality that hangs over all of us like an ever-present nightmare, just waiting to swoop down and become our fateful reality. As a student of the folk rituals surrounding Día de Muertos through her half-Mexican heritage, her funeral veil, her ghostly pale skin…
Ortega recently decided that her five-year stint in Nashville was no longer worth the struggle. She moved back to Canada, and almost decided to leave country music behind as well. But out of her struggles, losing her label, and looking for a way forward she has recorded a four-song EP called ‘Til The Goin’ Gets Gone.’
If you’re going to make a movie based in West Texas about the destruction of the agrarian economy and the way the banks rape the poor and why so much of the American heartland has turned into a ghost town husk of what it once was, what better way to embellish the moments than to include the songs of artists like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Scott H. Biram, & Colter Wall?
‘Hell or High Water’ selected some really worthy roots artists to feature in the movie soundtrack, including country legends Waylon Jennings and Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Chris Stapleton, Scott H. Biram, and even up-and-comer Colter Wall.
A long overdue distinction for one of country music’s greatest songwriters will finally come to pass. Announced at a press conference Tuesday morning (8-9) in Nashville, Townes Van Zant will be inducted into the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, along with fellow songwriters Aaron Barker, Beth Nielsen Chapman, and Bob Morrison.
The next trend in country may not be defined by a style or a sound, but who is involved in it. But if collaborations will be the next big trend, how about putting out just a little bit of effort to make sure that the great talent that is going unrecognized in country music itself gets some love?
Ashley Monroe, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Demi Lovato, Dierks Bentley, Dolly Parton, Elle King, Gwen Stefani, Johnny Bush, Kenny Chesney, Kenny Rogers, Little Big Town, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, Pharrell, Pink, Pitbull, Steve Fromholz, The Pistol Annies, Tim McGraw, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson
The definitive biography on Guy Clark finally has a release date, and further details have been revealed. Fans of the revered songwriter who passed away on May 17th have long anticipated the coming of ‘Without Getting Killed or Caught: The Life and Music of Guy Clark’, and they will finally have their patience rewarded on October 18th.
It was catching lightning in a bottle. And that is what we’re all searching for when we listen to a record, go out to a live show, pen or play a song ourselves, invite some friends over for supper and songs, and search for the manna of life with friends that is enhanced that much more through the incredible gift of music.
It took the death of four people and dozens of others injured after a drunken madman ran his car through a crowded downtown Austin street in 2014, as well as a completely clusterfucked permitting system by the City of Austin so mired in red tape it takes months of dedicated manpower to actually put on a show, but it appears that SXSW has finally reached a point where the annual event has stopped growing uncontrollably.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Al Scorch, Andrew Combs, Daniel Antopolsky, Heartworn Highways Revisited, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jonny Fritz, Luck TX, Luke Winslow-King, Margo Price, Michaela Anne, Parker Millsap, Possessed by Paul James, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robbie Fulks, Robert Ellis, Sam Outlaw, Sam Quinn, SXSW, The Black Lillies, The Wild Reeds, The Yawpers, Townes Van Zandt